Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

20 of the most powerful quotes on heartbreak in literature

Words: Elinor Block

While we should prefer the glossy, Disney-­proof happy endings, complete with a dashing Prince Charming, it’s often the opposite that keeps us turning the page. Give us star‐crossed lovers, a long, drawn-­out illness, or just the fact that the two protagonists don’t ever meet at the right time, and we’re captivated.

From Heathcliff and Cathy's tumultuous affair in Wuthering Heights to Stevens in The Remains of the Day, whose love for Miss Kenton frustratingly never amounts to anything other than a few tense moments, here are some of the greatest and most powerful quotes on heartbreak ever to be committed to paper. You might want to get the tissues at the ready.

Main image: Rex Features

Comments

More

Handmaid’s Tale fans, here’s what really happens to Ofglen in the book

As it's confirmed Alexis Bledel’s character will be returning for the second series

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Four of the best books so far this year, as chosen by Amazon and us

If you read nothing else, make sure you give these titles a whirl

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Emma Watson really, really wants you to read these 10 feminist books

She’s curated her very own “essential feminist bookshelf”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

We need to talk about Offred’s secret weapon in The Handmaid’s Tale

This is the most important thing we can take from episode four

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

Little girl crashes stranger’s wedding for a seriously cute reason

And the photos are just perfect

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

JK Rowling flies to the rescue after Trump blocks Stephen King

This is getting ‘riddikulus’ now...

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Jun 2017

Bailey’s Prize winner Naomi Alderman on the importance of feminism

“If my novel is a dystopia, then we are living in a dystopia right now”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
08 Jun 2017

Boys ‘find it very hard’ to read a book starring a girl hero

Gender equality is still a problem for children's books, says leading author

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Dustbin man rescues books to create free community library

He's saved 20,000 books so far

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Jun 2017

Who is Arundhati Roy? The controversial author with an army of fans

The bestselling author’s much-anticipated second novel is out now.

by Moya Crockett
06 Jun 2017